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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
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    13,139

    Default Ugh. Overly sensitive skin and "spur" marks- Update

    So, my darling horse, Vernon, really does like to keep me on my toes when it comes to his skin. He had a pretty good case of food related skin allergies (which we have under control, for the most part), and, for the most part, his sensitive skin is protected as best as I can with various saddle pads, girths, etc, etc, etc.

    I have had some issues with my spurs and him getting rubbed, but the worst has usually been when his skin has been at its worst and/or we've had a major come to Jesus. I have used those plastic roller spurs a great deal, and after the last big incident with rubs, I bought a new pair of small, very round metal ones (which did ok the couple of times I got to use them before all the snow).

    His skin does funny things, though, after a large percentage of my rides. There is often a small welt where my spur is, and/or the spot is sweaty (even if he's not sweaty at all). Now, I hardly wail on him with my spurs, but they are used to some degree in every ride.

    Anyway, to make this even more obnoxious, after not riding for 4 weeks because of snow, I have finally been able to at least get him out doing road work on our long drive. This is only walking, and, since he hasn't been ridden in awhile, I left the spurs in the tack room. Well, after the first ride (20-30 minutes of walking work), I got off to find a nice sweaty welt right where my spur would have been. The next day, as I was riding, my boss looked and deduced that possibly the edge of my chaps where rubbing him...but, seriously. Is he THAT sensitive that the bottom seam of my chaps leaves a welt?!?!

    I don't know if I'm looking for commiseration or advice. I'm thinking I'm going to have to break out some beach towels JUST to HACK my silly horse. Anyone have any experience with a horse THIS sensitive??
    Last edited by yellowbritches; Apr. 10, 2010 at 07:56 AM.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2009
    Posts
    4,601

    Default

    My horse gets rubs from my half chaps too. Don't know what to tell you, but it is frustrating. I put aloe cream on the rubs, but I don't know if that helps or not. Let me guess, your horse is chestnut, right?



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
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    Default

    No! Actually, he's a BAY! His vet says Vernon thinks he's a chestnut, though!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2009
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    4,601

    Default

    That's funny! He does sound like he thinks he is chestnut! Sorry I'm not really any help on this...but I definitely understand how annoying it is!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 23, 1999
    Location
    Rosehill, TX
    Posts
    7,060

    Default

    past horse came to me abused (waaay underweight, spur sores, etc)

    for a while I had to ride without any -- as his skin improved I moved to the kind with a ball-tip and those did not irritate

    eventually his skin got back to normal
    Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

    The reports states, “Elizabeth reported that she accidently put down this pony, ........, at the show.”



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2008
    Location
    Nowhere, Maryland
    Posts
    3,273

    Default

    I wonder if you could just put show sheen right there in that one spot? Or vaseline, but that might be gross. I feel your pain, though. My old mare was the same way, with the added bonus that the hair came back white, no matter how minor the rub!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
    Posts
    13,139

    Default

    Highflyer, I've done the vaseline a few times if he's had a bad time with rubs (when his skin was really bad this summer, he lost all his hair under my legs and had some really scaly nastiness in spots). It IS gross, and I don't recall it helping too much. The wierdest thing is the sweaty spots he gets where my spur or heel or whatever rubs him.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 19, 2005
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    12,887

    Default

    Do you have him on any supplements for his skin??

    I have several sensitive skin guys. One chestnut...four white sock...what fun Other dark brown.

    I find keeping them on MSM seems to help. I also have them on Ultimate Finish (40) by Buckeye....but both are hard keepers so I use that to help keep weight on them.

    I also find that their skin gets worse when they are ulcery. Gotta love the sensitive ones.....
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 20, 2008
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    2,198

    Default

    Bornfree you beat me to it!!

    I had a horse boarded here that would rub out the top of his tail. Owner wanted to get him off steroids. I did a search on here and it seems that MSM and flax are highly recommended for sensitive/allergic/funky skin. Put that horse and my two on MSM and flax (I use Bioflax 20).

    The boarder's horse did as well on the MSM/flax as he did on steriods, *maybe* even a little better.

    My two are definitely better on the combo. Interestingly enough, my gelding (4 socks) has not had an incidence with scratches since I've put him on MSM/flax. Before that, I was constantly battling scratches on his legs.

    Might be worth a try. MSM is inexpensive-maybe $5.00/month and Bioflax runs me about $20/month/horse.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
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    He is on SmartShine Ultra (he's actually the "cover boy" for that product in the newest Smartpak catalog! ) and it has helped the allergy side of things and some of the inflammation. I did have him on MSM for quite awhile as a 4 year old, but it did next to nothing for him. Now that we have the allergies under control, I could give it another try, though I HATE loading him up on sups he gets his fair share as it is, between his skin and his feet).

    BFNE, interesting about the ulcers. He's actually getting scoped in the near future (I have a great vet and I'm scoring big time on THAT one!). He is currently on Tractguard and has been almost as long as I've had him, but I am switching him to the SmartDigest Ultra after seeing the benefits of Succeed on another horse and hearing the SmartDigest is comparable.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 19, 2005
    Location
    PA
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    12,887

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    Quote Originally Posted by yellowbritches View Post
    BFNE, interesting about the ulcers. He's actually getting scoped in the near future (I have a great vet and I'm scoring big time on THAT one!). He is currently on Tractguard and has been almost as long as I've had him, but I am switching him to the SmartDigest Ultra after seeing the benefits of Succeed on another horse and hearing the SmartDigest is comparable.

    Good luck. I've just put my guys on SmartDigest Ultra as well....they are currently on Gastroguard...hoping I can back off of that soon But think I'm sunk until we have grass again!
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr. 5, 2003
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    1,234

    Default

    Do your boots have spur rests. One of mine would get rubs from my spur rests even if I left off my spurs.

    As for spurs the only ones that never rubbed him were the big pessoa smooth rowels. Go figure.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 3, 2009
    Location
    On the buckle
    Posts
    958

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    The edge of my half chaps does the same thing. I couldn't figure out for the longest time what was causing those rubs! I have some cheapie field boots ordered and am hoping they'll be just as comfy.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar. 19, 2009
    Location
    Out West
    Posts
    578

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    Same problem here. I have a dark bay (who's also super sensitive!) and he would get rubs from my half-chaps. I switched to tall boots exclusively and the rub marks went away. I can periodically ride with spurs and have no rub issues. If I have to wear spurs on a daily basis and I start to notice rubs, I use vaseline and I've found that it helps. It's messy though!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
    Posts
    22,444

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    Quote Originally Posted by yellowbritches View Post
    . Anyone have any experience with a horse THIS sensitive??
    Not a horse, but hound hunters (back in the day) used to use wet tea bags on their dogs pads - the tannins toughened up the skin. They'd used them on a footsore hound, and on hounds that just had to toughen up a bit.

    It is harmless (though I suppose the tea might stain a white horse).

    And I have absolutely no idea if this would cause a horse to test.

    If you do decide to use tea bags - be advised that my grandmother (being very frugal) would holler at my grandfather if he used NEW tea bags. Used ones were fine - but being grandpa he always reached for the new ones.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep. 12, 2005
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    3,767

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    Yep. My top horse had the most sensitive skin, and I had this exact problem. He would get rub marks from anything....girth, boots, halter, and even the tiniest spurs. I won't say they helped a lot, but I would put the products "New Skin" or runner's "Bodyglide" on any area that was prone to rub marks.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov. 9, 2005
    Location
    uk
    Posts
    15,278

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by yellowbritches View Post
    So, my darling horse, Vernon, really does like to keep me on my toes when it comes to his skin. He had a pretty good case of food related skin allergies (which we have under control, for the most part), and, for the most part, his sensitive skin is protected as best as I can with various saddle pads, girths, etc, etc, etc.

    I have had some issues with my spurs and him getting rubbed, but the worst has usually been when his skin has been at its worst and/or we've had a major come to Jesus. I have used those plastic roller spurs a great deal, and after the last big incident with rubs, I bought a new pair of small, very round metal ones (which did ok the couple of times I got to use them before all the snow).

    His skin does funny things, though, after a large percentage of my rides. There is often a small welt where my spur is, and/or the spot is sweaty (even if he's not sweaty at all). Now, I hardly wail on him with my spurs, but they are used to some degree in every ride.

    Anyway, to make this even more obnoxious, after not riding for 4 weeks because of snow, I have finally been able to at least get him out doing road work on our long drive. This is only walking, and, since he hasn't been ridden in awhile, I left the spurs in the tack room. Well, after the first ride (20-30 minutes of walking work), I got off to find a nice sweaty welt right where my spur would have been. The next day, as I was riding, my boss looked and deduced that possibly the edge of my chaps where rubbing him...but, seriously. Is he THAT sensitive that the bottom seam of my chaps leaves a welt?!?!

    I don't know if I'm looking for commiseration or advice. I'm thinking I'm going to have to break out some beach towels JUST to HACK my silly horse. Anyone have any experience with a horse THIS sensitive??

    hes getting spur marks more so as sounds like you have over active legs and what you dont realise is with an active leg its constant banging on the sides of the horse and in the end will be dead to the leg
    be better for you and the horse if you rode him without spurs and you leanrt to have a still secure leg rather than an over active leg

    so go back to basics and learn how to use your legs properly
    do more exercises working with out sitrrups -
    Last edited by goeslikestink; Feb. 28, 2010 at 06:59 PM.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep. 8, 2006
    Location
    Franklin, TN
    Posts
    737

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    I feel for you, I have had sensitive ones in the past, but it sounds like your cute guy (love the Smart Pak photo) is ultra sensitive.

    I really cinch galled a grey, thin skinned reined cowhorse (a hot bred Arabian mare) one time, 25 years ago, three days before an important championship, and was doing everything I could to relieve the soreness and puffiness...an old timer, and mentor of mine walked into his tack room and came out with a jar of Comfrey gel, which I smeared on liberally for the next 24 hours, every time I could, and the tenderness, rubbed looking spots, and redness went away! It was like night and day. In my horse's case, it was hot weather combined with sandy arena, and schooling too much in anticipation of a big show...your case is definately not the work or riding related, sounds like. But if you can find some comfrey gel, it is mild and cooling for the time being.

    Frustrating when you are doing everything right, though, and have this kind of thing...hope something works soon!
    What would you try if you knew you would not fail?



  19. #19
    Join Date
    May. 3, 2006
    Posts
    11,568

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    If your horse is being marked by your spurs or by chaps then it's a simple fact that you're riding with incorrect leg position.

    You're obviously riding with your heels on him all the time from what you say and I'm thinking you're probably moving him with your heels. Personally speaking, if you were a pupil of mine, I wouldn't allow you to wear spurs until you'd got that matter addressed.

    It's good lessons you need to tackle root cause, not skin supplements and things to treat symptoms.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
    Posts
    13,139

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    Thanks to those who haven't turned this into a riding lesson and have offered at the very least sympathy and some things to try. I know what I'm doing AND I'm "supervised" so I am 99.9999% sure my riding is NOT the issue. This horse IS that sensitive.

    lstevenson, I actually have a ton of Chammois Butter (for cycling), so I may give that a go. Better than vaseline, too, since it isn't sticky-gooby.

    I hacked him yesterday in my squishy soft Dubarry boots (I was in a rush). Won't do THAT again.

    I was wondering out loud last night if clipping him will help or make it worse. He was clipped in October, but with all our cold, nasty, unrideable weather, I have yet to clip him again. Part of me is wondering if he's more sensitive than usual with shedding and his shaggy coat.



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